AirTalk for April 4, 2014

Mozilla's new CEO resigns after backlash to anti-gay marriage, Prop 8 donations

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JOSEP LAGO/AFP/Getty Images

People wait to attend the press conference of Mozilla's Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in Barcelona on February 24, 2013, a day before the start of the 2013 Mobile World Congress. The 2013 Mobile World Congress, the world's biggest mobile fair, was held from February 25 to February 28 in Barcelona.

The newly appointed CEO of Mozilla, the company that makes the popular Firefox web browser, announced on Thursday that he was stepping down after being the subject of protests from gay rights supporters.

News recently broke that back in 2008, Brendan Eich made a $1,000 contribution in 2008 to support Proposition 8, the California ban on same sex marriage. The proposition was later overturned by the Supreme Court but the damage to Eich's career was already done.

In an interview this week, he did not apologize for his donation and said he was capable of separating his personal beliefs from the inclusive message of the open-source company he's running.

Tens of thousands of supporters of same-sex marriage rights did not agree and launched a petition asking Eich to resign from the company. The popular dating site OkCupid also lashed out against Eich by generating a message that encouraged Firefox users to use a different browser to visit the site.

In a blog post on Thursday, the company's executive chairwoman Mitchell Baker announced that Eich had stepped down as CEO and emphasized that Mozilla's "organizational culture reflects diversity and inclusiveness".

Does that 'inclusiveness' extend to employees who don't share the company's beliefs? Should a company's CEO, or any of it's employees, be forced to represent the views of their customer base? Do you think Eich’s political beliefs should have cost him his job?

Guest: 

Rob Enderle, President and Principal Analyst at the Enderle Group, which focuses on business advising and strategizing for technology companies

 


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